Gleeson: A byword for farm building excellence

30 Aug , 2022  

For more than five decades, Gleeson Steel & Engineering has been setting the benchmark for designing and erecting high-quality agricultural buildings across Munster and beyond. We travelled to Thurles in County Tipperary and spoke to director Tomás Gleeson about the full range of CE-certified structural steel solutions – as well as many other products and services – provided to the agricultural sector by this industry-leading family business.

Gleeson Steel & Engineering design and build all types of bespoke structural steel farm buildings, including beef units, dairy units, and milking parlours, equestrian buildings, stables, hay sheds, sheep sheds, poultry houses, storage sheds, workshops, garages, etc. These buildings are erected on-site to the very highest standards by an experienced team of qualified steel erectors, who are fully trained in all prevailing on-site safety measures and procedures.

All farm buildings constructed by Gleeson Steel & Engineering are built and erected in accordance with Department of Agriculture grant specifications, whilst their vastly experienced team of designers, fabricators, and draftsmen work closely with clients on projects to ensure that delivery is achieved to spec, on time and within budget.

As well as agricultural buildings, Gleeson Steel & Engineering – who are both ISO 9001 and CE-certified – are also leading suppliers of a vast selection of agricultural equipment, structural steel solutions, kiosks, and enclosures, all sheet metal and architectural steelwork. Meanwhile, under the Gleeson Truck Bodies banner, they also manufacture a magnificent range of truck and tipper bodies, including beavertails, flatbeds, and livestock trailers in the 3.5 ton to 32 ton range.

The genesis of Gleeson Steel & Engineering Ltd. dates back to 1968 and this progressive, standard-setting family business has since established itself as one of Munster’s premier steel fabricators, consistently delivering bespoke, client-focused products and processes that invariably meet the demands of an increasingly competitive steel market.

Serving the wider farming community for 54 years and counting, the company was established by the late Murt Gleeson and his wife Alice, who today runs the business alongside her sons Tomás and P.J. Going back to the early days, Murt provided a wide range of durable and high-quality agricultural products, backed up with an excellent aftersales service. In more recent years, structural steel farm buildings and fit outs (barriers, cubicles, penning, etc.) have been added to the product offering as well as value-added architectural steelwork and steel engineering solutions for the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors.

Today, using the most sophisticated design and development tools, Gleeson Steel & Engineering is a one-stop-shop for farm buildings (covering everything in-house bar concrete work) as well as a vast range of land levellers, log splitters, bogies for fertiliser spreaders, calf creeps, field gates, crush gates, dividing gates, troughs, drinkers, cubicles and feeding barriers.

Quality lies at the very heart of everything Gleeson Steel & Engineering does. “We pride ourselves on high-quality products and workmanship using the best materials and processes,” Tomás confirms. “Grant specifications have pushed people towards a high-quality build and quality of workmanship has always been a priority with us. We like to make sure the customer is happy and happy farmers tend to tell others about the service they received.”

Indeed, repeat business and positive referrals form an invaluable part of the Gleeson business model. “When it comes to structural steel, farmers know they will get a good product and service,” Tomás continues. “They get quality for the right price and the value is reflected in both the product and the price.

“We can advise farmers and come up with suitable suggestions if they don’t have their own design. We offer a full technical drawing package, and everything will be discussed in detail and fully approved before we go into production.”

Gleeson’s Agri buildings are designed and built to last and are functional, efficient, value-added, and aesthetically pleasing. “All our buildings are finished to a very high standard, and this is extremely important to us,” Tomás confirms. “We make a point of always working to the highest possible quality and provide a full service in-house, covering everything apart from the concrete work.

“We have friendly and knowledgeable salesmen on the road and informed advice from them can assist the farmer in confidently making a good decision. We would also encourage potential clients to go and take a look at some of our previous jobs. We enjoy very strong relationships with our past and existing customers, and they are always agreeable to allowing other farmers to go in and take a look at the work.”

Having access to reliable staff is critical and, to this end, Gleeson Steel & Engineering currently employ a crew of 55 between all facets of the business. “Good employees are hard to come by and even harder to keep,” notes Tomás. “It’s very much an employee’s market now and, as an employer, it’s hard to keep everybody happy. But we’re very fortunate to have a good team of workers here at the moment. As we like to try to keep good men coming through, we have eight apprentices on our books. At the other end, we also have experienced lads here who have been with us for 40 years.”

Gleeson Steel & Engineering cover a large catchment area incorporating Munster and into the midlands and south Leinster – generally operating predominantly within a 60-70-mile radius of their well-appointed, highly-sustainable, state-of-the-art, 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility at Gortnahoe, Thurles, where they operate the most modern equipment necessary to provide unrivalled structural steel engineering solutions.

Equipment and facilities on hand include a saw and CNC drill line, a CNC angle line, Durmazlar guillotines, powder coating plant and industrial spray paint booth complete with extractor units and an air flow heating system as well as an assortment of welders, lathes, sanders, drills, and press brakes.

Machinists are trained and certified in every aspect of steel fabrication, facilitating the delivery of exceptional steel products measured and cut to precision. They have achieved compliance with the requirements of I.S. EN1090-1:2009 + A1:2011 for the CE-marking of structural steel, up to Execution Class 2, which covers the fabrication of most of the structural steel used in Ireland and the UK. Meanwhile, Gleeson Truck Bodies is an NSAI-approved vehicle body builder

While the last two years have presented unprecedented challenges to Irish companies, demand for Gleeson Steel & Engineering’s unrivalled services remains strong and the long-established family-run business is well-placed to continue providing essential products and services to the farming community going forward:

“We experienced a bit of a tail-off in 2020 but were back busy again in 2021 once the initial wave of restrictions was lifted. We’ve had a very busy start to 2022,” Tomás concludes. “While farmers are receiving grants towards buildings, which makes them more attractive, developments in Agri would always be needed regardless.

“It’s all about dairy right now. While the beef sector hasn’t been as busy of late, dairy numbers are getting higher and dairy farmers are investing substantially in improving their facilities. Farmers across the board are very progressive and are more than happy to develop and move with the times.”

Gleeson Steel & Engineering Ltd.,



County Tipperary.

Tel: 056 8834110

Mobile: 086 3894317

Email: [email protected]

Web: gleesonsteel.ie

First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 10 No 3, May/June 2022